Boston or Mystic aquarium?

Old Jul 14th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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Boston or Mystic aquarium?

I'm planning a trip to Mystic, Newport, Boston and Main with two 11 year old kids.I can't deside what aquarium should we visit : in Mystic or in Boston. We will stop in Mystic for a few hours on the way from NJ to Newport and we will be in Boston for 2 days (3 nigts). I plan to go to Science Museum in Boston and do a Duck tour. So we can go to Aquarium next day, but maybe better spend more time just go around Boston and go to Aquarium in Mystic?
Mariya
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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mariya,

it is possible to do a quick jaunt around the center column of water, winding up two or three stories high, at the boston aquarium. not that the rest isn't interesting, but that is the central attraction. cannot compare it to mystic seaport aquarium. will be interested to hear what others think...
if i were doing your trip, and could swing into new bedford, ma, there is a superb (truly!) whaling museum there, small in comparison to big city aquariums, but leaves a big impact with the fierce whaling tarpoons and real skeletal whale displays, etc. if you let them know in advance you're coming, sometimes (if mary is around) you can get a personal narrative with lots of jaw-dropping stories.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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I would do Mystic Seaport, then Boston Aquarium. If you could fit in the New Bedford Whaling Museum, go for it. I would substitute it for Newport because I am not quite sure what kids would find to like in Newport, but maybe this part of the trip is for Mom!

Mystic Seaport is a great place for kids to run around and work off energy while learning something, and you will learn something, too. Boston's Aquarium is nationally and internationally ranked and makes a good break from the Freedom Trail. The North End is nearby with lots of Italian food and pizza, Quincy Market with its food court is close, and there is a Legal Seafood right at the end of the wharf where the aquarium is located.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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I agree. With only a few hours at Mystic, you should spend time at the seaport, not the aquarium. As for the Bedford Whaling Museum, I find it quite interesting, but you may already have learned some of the stuff at Mystic Seaport.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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The Boston Aquarium is way neater than the Mystic Aquarium. I don't even like aquariums, but I like the one in Boston.

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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:26 AM
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Agree that the Boston aquarium is much better - save the time at Mystic for the Seaport.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Mystic Seaport is the thing to do if you are only in town for a few hours. It's great for kids (and adults). Love the aquarium too but they are all alike when you get right down to it.

Visit Mystic Pizza (of movie fame) if you are in town for lunch.

PS Think the kids will like the Mansion Drive/Tour in Newport a lot. Kids love seeing how the other half lives!
 
Old Jul 18th, 2006, 07:35 PM
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Thanks so much for the info,
Mariya
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Or if you don't want pizza, there's a great clam shack right on the river in Mystic. I'll try to remember what it's called.

Agree that New Bedford Whaling Museum is better for kids than Newport, but Newport has the mansions... Breakers has a "children's house" that is like a doll house only big enough to walk inside!
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 07:59 PM
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The place I like is called Seaview Snack Bar. But now I'm reading reviews of a place called Sea Swirl that also sounds worth a try!

Try this website:
Mystic Country > Discover Dining > Quick Bites
http://tinyurl.com/kx764
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 10:58 PM
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This may not work for your itinerary but with two 11-year-olds I wanted to mention that the National Basketball Hall of Fame is in Springfield, MA. Very enjoyable if you like basketball.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 04:45 AM
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Unless you have a thing for fish, I would skip both aquariums in favor of other activities.

Your second day in Boston could be spent doing the Freedom Trail thing - any part you like, with stop at Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall area for browsing in shops, lunch - and/or dinner in North End (Italian). Plenty of variety on both Trail and Quyincy Market to keep 11 year olds and adults happy.

With all respect for NE Aquarium (Boston) of which we have been members for decades, it is a little dated and smallish compared to newer aquariums, tends to be really crowded on hot or rainy days in summer. They were going to move but ongoing financial issues have prevented that. It is OK, but with 2 days, I think you could better spend your time.

Other suggestions are a short Harbor Cruise - they even have narrated 1-2 hour lunch time brown-bag cruises.
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Old Jul 20th, 2006, 09:36 PM
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Suggestions for the kids (and you) in Newport:
The Cliff Walk : cliffwalk.com
A mansion tour: something extravagant like the Breakers or Marble House
If they are into tennis, the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Bellevue Ave
The drive out from Bellevue, to Ocean, to Breton Point and Castle Hill for great views
A ride on the Adirondack II from Newport harbor, a great way to see the harbor and bridges
Fort Adams
And let them have a break in the arcade on America's Cup Avenue, and eat at the Red Parrot

For the aquarium, I agree our Boston aquarium needs some updating, - I would probably walk the Mystic Seaport area, see that aquarium and spend the time in Boston doing other things:
Duck Tour, walk part of Freedom trail (Boston Common, Boston Public Gardens, down to Faneuil Hall and over to the waterfront/North End) and look into one ofthe BOston Harbor Island Cruises possibly to Georges Island or the recently opened Spectacle Island.

Another great take is the Skywalk at the Prudential Center with a small hisotrical exhibit and views if weather is nice far and wide - a great overview and kids usually love the views from up there.

My cousins that age love eating at Fire and Ice and PF Changs, and in the North End for pizza and walking around and getting dessert afterwards in one of the many good choices for that, seeing Paul Revere's House, the quaint streets.

I'd rather see you leave good time for Science Museum in Boston than aquarium - and time maybe for the planetarium show or one of the omni theater showings at the Science Museum.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Great thread...I think the place in Mystic is Abbott's Lobster in the Rough. It's BYOB.
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Old Aug 9th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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Too bad the proposed New Bedford Aquarium was never able to take off. Politics, politics..
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